Chapter 9 – Switching Homes

Happy Man has just played. Those lyrics touch the depths of her soul! A simple, loving, happily shared life is all she’s ever wanted.

Will I have another go at that? A second chance?

 

Friday, 15 January 2016.

 

Day 26

 

 

Happy Man  (By B. J. Thomas – 🎼 Now playing at Anna’s)

When I die there won’t be much
To salvage from my earnings
I never had a lot of land or houses to my name
I’ve never been a corporate prince
On Madison and New York
I never held a diamond in my hand

But I’ve seen children laughing
As only children can
And I’ve known my Creator
And I’ve been a happy man

I never really loved the way I saw it in the movies
But I had myself a woman of my own
The place we lived was modest
And we kept the yard together
I never traveled far from my hometown

But I’ve heard music playing
That made me understand
And touched the hearts of heaven
And I’ve been a happy man

Life has had its hard times
When I’ve felt the chill of winter
I can’t forget the night
When my sweet Julie slipped away

But growing old is different
Than I always thought it would be
The sweetness of my youth
Just grew with age

‘Cause I’ve known wealth and beauty
Beneath His guiding hand
And knowing soon I’ll see Him
Has made me a happy man
And knowing soon I’ll see Him
Has made me a happy man

 

Mr. Ex is back from the Bahamas and the teens have now switched to their old flat to be with dad. Kristy and Joey are going to live a week with each parent, according to what has been agreed.

The situation is new to everyone involved, and definitely not easy, but it’s good that both their homes are only a km away from each other.

 

Anna is sitting in her car with him X, who else?

The weather is really bad outside, and a huge snow storm is making Helsinki more and more beautiful by the second.

They are talking politely about things, his trip, the teens…

… And the divorce application form. 😯

Just fill in both spouses’ whole names, identity numbers and the date. Ah! Don’t forget to sign and also tick the box stating this is the first divorce application,” they’d answered to her inquiry.

 

Yes, it’s as simple as that in Finland: one single, very easy PDF page that you google and print. And just shove into a mailbox anywhere.

Better this way – as if life isn’t complicated enough already during a separation.

 

She has decided that if things have progressed this fast, so that he’s already traveled with Ms. Newbie, then they should get an official divorce ASAP.

She hands him the pre-filled application.

They find no pen.

Decisively, he gets out of the car into the storm to sign the form inside the Siwa grocery store on Eerikinkatu.

That’s what he really, really wants then, she realizes.

 

The next day, Anna spends her whole Saturday cleaning. She likes things to be spick and span, and especially organized. The lack of space makes it hard to keep all their stuff tidy when the three of them are sharing the place.

Nevertheless, it has been so special to be with the teens for over three weeks.

Joseph, Kristiina and I have always been so close.

To her, it feels like they are her friends as much as she’s their mother.

 

Just before leaving, Joey wanted to open up. He didn’t want to go back to his dad’s, as he’s feeling angry at his father.

“He should have used the time with us, mom! Maybe traveled with us to grow closer and make us feel safe at a time like this… Not with that Ne#wb%i&e!

“This whole thing is too hard. And how can he not love you?? You’re the best there is!!”

 

It’s tough to see how upset Joseph is. Anna understands him and is actually feeling concerned herself.

While she is searching for inner strength and wisdom about how to respond, she just listens, thinking in silence…

 

Gosh! How are things gonna go??

Of course I’d like the teens to stay with me longer, but how would they keep the bond with their father if they didn’t spend half the time with him?

And Mr. Ex has to come back to normal life, back to reality! Our kids are his responsibility, too.

Oh, he will. He’s always been a loving dad.

Besides, if I make an exception already and let them stay on over here, how can I expect to divide their time and care with X later on?

 

It doesn’t matter how I feel right now.

I have to think of their best. Think long term.

Otherwise, they’ll be the ones who will suffer the most. They’ll regret growing distant to their father.

 

Anna doesn’t want Kristy and Joey to feel unwelcome or unwanted in her – ops, their – new flat. She needs Joey to understand the situation.

It takes some loving words on her part to calm him down.

“Son, I understand your feelings. You’re entitled to feel the way you feel and you’re always allowed to express yourself to me. Always!

“Having said that, life is messy, my darling. You don’t understand adult relationships yet. Your dad and I really tried everything we could. We wish each other happiness now. And…

“…Maybe you’re right to question his actions, but he loves you and wants to be close to you!

“Besides, X and Newbie are just human. At the end of the day, they are doing nothing hateful. We’re not talking about war, crime or terrorism here…

“They’re just two people trying to love and be loved. That’s it.” she sighs.

 

“I know mom. For me it’s OK that you guys separated, it’s not that…! But to already have traveled with another woman!”

“Hey Joey, remember:

“You don’t have to like the way things are, but I want you to always treat them with respect anyway, ok? Give it time…

“You know what, son? You can call me and we can meet up any day after school! We can hang out even when it’s your dad’s turn to be with you. Come over for a snack or to do your homework. I’ll be missing you, too. Very much.”

They hug good-bye and Anna feels a little heartbroken. For now, the whole separation seems a bit easier on Kristiina.

 

It’s Saturday evening now and Anna’s place is looking clean and cozy.

She showers, gets into her pjs and then places her favorite vinyl on the record player she got herself for her 40th birthday with money gifts from friends. She’d planned on buying one for centuries. She’s glad she did.

B.J. Thomas is singing and the music sounds both comforting and fantastic to her ears as she stands there, looking out the balcony door.

Happy Man has just played. Those lyrics touch the depths of her soul! A simple, loving, happily shared life is all she’s ever wanted.

Will I have another go at that? A second chance?

 

She’s kept this specific record through all the zillion moves from city to city, country to country since she was a child. She’d dreamed of having a record player again, wished to turn vinyls to the other side to listen to good music in a nostalgic manner.

Definitely worth it!

🎼 He holds the stars in the sky
He holds the land back from the sea
If He can do all of that
Surely he can take care
Of you and me

He’s got it all in control…

 

Anna feels that she herself is doing well under the circumstances, but offers up a prayer for her teens to be OK.

Somehow.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 26 since moving out. What now?

 

 

Author: TinderellaAnna

Anna is a character. Half-fictional, half-inspired in many, many true events. Half-European, half-Latin-American. She is happy, she is strong, she is a mom, a teacher, a friend. Despite the divorce - not of her choice - she is determined to be joyful, grateful, hopeful, sweet; believing that life is for sharing and that he is somewhere out there. But he will have to be as lovable as she is. After all, better alone than in bad company. Sigh: but better in good company than alone... Disclaimer: All names and places have been changed to protect the people who happen to be true.

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